By: Allama Husayn Ansariyan
Being kind to father and mother
There are many verses in the Qur’an that mention, after enjoining on monotheism and worshipping Allah, the matter of being kind to one parents and order people of that. This order is a legal and moral obligation. Following this order is the very submission to Allah and turning away from it is the very disobedience and sin that require severe punishment on the day of resurrection.
“And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents.” Qur'an, 4:36
Being kind to father and mother is just a bit of grat itude for the kindness, mercy and care they have given to the children since the first moment of their births.
The parents sacrifice too much and they prefer their child to themselves throughout all the stages of life. In all difficult circumstances and distresses they try their best to protect their child from any harm and they take care of it more than taking care of themselves. They remain wake for long nights just to comfort their child. They taste bitter tiredness in order to make their child feel the sweetness of rest and comfort. They bring themselves difficulties and pains just to educate and bring their child up. They feed it from their body and soul. They tolerate and worry too much until it becomes adult. Therefore a child has to reward his parents with all kindness and to recompense them for all their efforts and toils for him.
“And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) "ugh" nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word, and make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.” Qur'an, 17:23-24
Once Imam as-Sadiq (as) has been asked about this “goodness” mentioned in this verse and he said, “Be kind in your companionship with them (your parents) and do not deny whatever they ask you for even if they are wealthy”. Allah says, “By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love.” Qur'an, 3:92
“say not to them (so much as) "ugh" nor chide them” Qur’an 17:23
If they make you angry, do not say to them “ugh” and if they beat you, do not chide them. Always speak to them a generous saying. If they beat you, say to them “may Allah forgive you” and this is the generous saying. “And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion;” do not look at them except mercifully and kindly and do not raise your voice more than theirs, nor your hand higher than theirs and do not walk in front of them.”
Imam as-Sadiq (as) has also said, “If Allah knew that there was something less than “ugh”, He would forbid from it. It is the least impiety.” This tradition has been mentioned in al-Kafi with an addition; “It is impiety that one looks at his parents sharply.”
One day someone asked the Prophet (S), “What is the father’s right on his child?” The Prophet (S), “He (the child) is not to call his father with his name, not to walk before him, not to sit before him and not to cause people to Abuse him.”
The Prophet (S) has said three times, “Inspite of him!” The companions said, “O messenger of Allah, who is he?” He said, “It is he who has lived with one or both of his parents when being old but he will be in hell (because of mistreatment).”
In one of the battles Huthayfa has asked the Prophet (S) to permit him to kill his own father who was with the polytheist but the Prophet (S) said to him, “Let him for other than you73!”
It has been mentioned in the tafsir of Imam al-Askari (as) that the Prophet (S) had said, “The best of you (in treatment) to their parents and the worthiest of gratitude are Muhammad and Ali74.”
Ameerul Mo'mineen (as) said that he had heard the Prophet (S) saying, “I and Ali are the fathers of this umma and our right on them (the people of the umma) is greater than the right of their real fathers for we save them from the Fire to the paradise if they follow us and we take them out of slavery and join them to the best free75.”
Being charitable to the kin
Kin (by lineage or affinity) means paternal and maternal relatives like uncles, aunts and grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law are also among relatives.
Being kind and charitable to them is by visiting them and solving their problems and needs. Being kind to the closest relatives is one of the divine orders and legal and moral obligations which will be rewarded with a great reward while denying it will be faced with a painful torment on the day of resurrection.
The Qur’an emphasizes on that breaking covenants, cutting kin relations and corruption in the earth are among the signs of the great loss and the ones, who commit such things, are considered as losers; “Who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and make mischief in the land; these it is that are the losers.” Qur'an, 2:27
Cutting the relation with one’s relatives is not permissible even if this one gets harm and damage from those relatives.
Visiting one’s relatives and being courteous and kind to them are among the divine ethic and admirable conducts and they are rays of the good morals. If some of one’s relatives are not religious or they are disbelievers and there is a hope of guiding them, then one must try to guide and save them. He must strengthen his relation and communication with them and must visit them often and always to enjoin the right and to forbid the wrong.
Many traditions have been narrated from the Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams (as) in this concern whose wise instructions and recommendations should be paid much attention by every believer.
Here are some of the important traditions of the Prophet (S) about strengthening kinship; “The promptest good in being rewarded is maintaining kinship76.”
“Maintaining kinship makes accounting (on the day of resurrection) easy and it protects one from bad death77.”
“Maintain your kinship in this world even by a greeting78.”
“Maintain your relation with one who has cut his relation with you, do good toone who has done wrong to you and said the truth even if it is against you!”
“Allah changes the three years that remain in the life of one, who ma inta ins his kinship, into thirty years and He changes the thirty years that remain in the life of one, who cuts his kinship, into three years.” Then the Prophet (S) recited: “Allah effaces what he pleases and establishes (what he pleases), and with Him is the basis of the Book.” Qur'an, 13:39
Ameerul Mo'mineen (as) has said, “Be generous to your tribe because they are your wing by which you fly, your origin to which you come back and your hand by which you attack79!.”
Imam al-Hadi (as) has said, “Once Prophet Moses (as) said to Allah the Almighty, “What is the reward of one who maintains his kinship?” Allah said, “O Moses, I delay his death (prolong his life) and make the agonies of death easy for him.”
Being kind to the orphan
The matter of being kind, charitable and merciful to the orphans has been mentioned in the Qur’an about eight een times. Allah has said, “And they ask you concerning the orphans Say: To set right for them (their affairs) is good, and if you become co-partners with them, they are your brethren; and Allah knows the mischief-maker and the peacemaker, and if Allah had pleased, He would certainly have caused you to fall into a difficulty; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.” Qur'an, 2:220
“And give to the orphans their property, and do not substitute worthless (things) for (their) good (ones), and do not devour their property (as an addition) to your own property; this is surely a great crime.” Qur'an, 4:2
“(As for) those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire.” Qur'an, 4:10
“And that you should deal towards orphans with equity; and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.” Qur'an, 4:127
“And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner until he attains his maturity.” Qur'an, 6:152
The Prophet (S) has said, “Whoever adopts an orphan of the Muslims to his subsistence Allah will enter him into paradise unless he commits an unforgivable sin80.”
The Prophet (S) has also said, “In the paradise there is a house called the “house of joy “. No one will enter this house except those who has delighted the orphans of the believers81.”
One day a man came to the Prophet (S) complaining of his hard-heart edness. The Prophet (S) said to him, “If you like your heart to be soft and you get your needs, be merciful to the orphans, pat their heads and feed them from your food. Then your heart will be soft and your needs will be achieved82.”
Ameerul Mo’mineen (as) has said, “Every believing man and believing woman puts his/her hand on an orpha n’s head Allah will reward him/ her with a good deed for each hair his/ her hand passes over83.”
Being kind to the needy
The needy person is that one whom need and poverty have disabled and who has lost every means of living.
The duty of the believers and their legal and human responsibilities are to help this needy person with their money to solve his problems, to keep his dignity and to satisfy his needs.
The Qur’an has made obligatory on the believers to take care of the needy and to satisfy their needs. The Qur’an considers satisfying the needs of the needy and taking care of them as one of the great worships because Allah loves this doing and this high morals and He loves everyone who tries to improve the conditions of the needy and to care for their livings.
As for paying no attention to the needy and poor people and turning away from them will no doubt, according to the Qur’anic verses, bring painful torment son the day of resurrection.
“And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully.” Qur'an, 17:26
“And give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives.” Qur'an, 2:177
“Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth) and the (ransoming of) captives and those in debts and in the way of Allah and the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah; and Allah is knowing, Wise.” Qur'an, 9:60
Being stingy, not spending on the needy and not taking care of them are not causes of deserving torment in the afterworld only but also they have bad and dangerous effects on man’s life in this world.
Allah has mentioned in the sura of al-Qalam (68) the verses 17-33 the story of the brothers who had inherited a flourishing garden from their father but they did unlike wha ttheir father did. Their father was generous and kind to the poor and needy. When the brothers inherited this garden they decided in their meeting not to help any poor one who would come to them the following day. They would close the gate of the garden and would not allow anyone of the poor and needy to come to them. In that night and because of that satanic intention and malicious thinking, a thunderbolt hit the garden by the will of Allah and burnt all the fruitful trees and nothing remained in the garden except ashes.
In the morning when the brothers opened the gate of the garden, they became astonished at seeing the as hes instead of their flourishing garden. They began blaming each other and said, “Glory be to our Lord, surely we were unjust.” Qur'an, 68:69
The Qur’an sees that the appearance of the problems of poverty and neediness is because of some reasons among which are not caring for the poor, not being kind to them and not helping them.
“But when He tries him, then straitens to him his means of subsistence, he says: My Lord has disgraced me. Nay! but you do not honor the orphan, nor do you urge one another to feed the poor, and you eat away the heritage, devouring (everything) indiscriminately, and you love wealth with exceeding love.” Qur'an, 89:16-20
When there is nothing in man’s heart save love for money and wealth, poverty, neediness and meanness appears on man.
The holy Qur’an mentions in the sura of al-Haqqah (69) some kinds of severe torment that will be the reward of some people because of two reasons; disbelieving in Allah and not feeding the poor.
“And as for him who is given his book in his left hand he shall say: O would that my book had never been given to me, and I had not known what my account was. O would that it had made an end (of me). My wealth has availed me nothing. My authority is gone away from me. Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him. Then cast him into the burning fire. Then thrust him into a chain the length of which is seventy cubits. Surely he did not believe in Allah, the Great, nor did he urge the feeding of the poor. Therefore he has nothere today a true friend, nor any food except refuse (pus or festering liquid) which none but the wrongdoers eat.” Qur'an, 69:25-37
In fact taking care of the affairs of the poor and the needy is something very important that whoever is indifferent to this matter will be liable to the wrath of Allah and will get painful punishment on the day of resurrection. It is narrated that Gabriel has said, “I love three things in the worldly life; guiding the deviants, supporting the wronged people and loving the needy84.”
Imam as-Sadiq (as) has said, “whoever helps them (the needy) with the leftover of his money, Allah will reward him with wide gardens in paradise, forgive him and will be pleased with him85.”
He has also said, “Whoever feeds a believer until he makes him satiate no one of the creatures of Allah will know how much reward he will get on the day of resurrection; neither a close angel nor a Prophet except the Lord of the worlds.” Then he added, “From among the requisites of forgiveness is feeding a hungry Muslim86.” Then he recited, “Or the giving of food in a day of hunger, an orphan near of kin, or some poor wretched in misery.” Qur'an, 90:14-16
The many Qur’anic verses that talk about the important and sensitive job of the tongue and the importance the Qur’an has entrusted the tongue with show the great and the very important function of this organ of man.
The tongue leads either to the deliverance of man or to his perishment in this world and the afterworld.
The tongue can be the cause of tranquility and peace in the family and society and it can be the cause of disturbance and confusion.
The tongue is either a reformer or corruptive. It either keeps reputation, dignities and secrets of people or exposes their secrets and disgraces them.
The Qur'an invites all the people especially the believers to meet the others with good and courteous sayings. Besides the Qur’anic verses there are many important traditions talking about this important organ narrated from the Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams (as). Perhaps if we collect these traditions from the books of Hadith, we can compose a big book on this concern alone.
The Prophet (S) has said, “When the son of Adam gets up in the morning, all the organs say to the tongue, “Fear Allah on behalf of us! If you become straight, all of us will become straight and if you become deviate, all of us will become deviate87.”
Ameerul Mo’mineen (as) has said, “The tongue is the scales of man88.”
The Prophet (S) has said, “Allah will punish the tongue with torment that he will never punish any other organ with. The tongue will say, “O my Lord, you have punished me with torment that You have never punished any of the organs with!” It will be said, “A word has come out of you and has reached the east and the west and because of it inviolable bloods have been shed, moneys have been robbed unlawfully and honors have been violated unlawfully89.”
Imam Ali (as) has said, “How many men have been perished because of their tongues!”
The tongue must be controlled day and night and must not be set free to say whatever it likes. One has to think deeply before saying anything. One has to say the suitable thing, at the suitable time, in the suitable place, before the suitable person and about the suitable subject. One has to put in mind that Allah is present at every time and every where in order not to commit a sin that cannot be repented of or forgiven.
Imam as-Sadiq (as) when talking about this verse “and speak kindly to people” (Qur'an, 2:83)
has said, “Speak kindly to all people whether the believers or other than the believers. As for the believers you are to meet them smilingly and delightfully and as for the others you are to speak with them kindly to attract them towards faith and even if they do not believe at least you will keep you rself and your brothers safe from their evil90.”
Imam al-Baqir (as) has said when expla ining this verse “and speak kindly to people,” “Say to them the best as you like to be said to you. Allah hates those who curse and abuse the believers and those who speak obscenely and ask importunately and He loves coy, polite, patient, lenient and chaste people91.”
The Prophet (S) has said, “All the speech of the son of Adam is against him and not for him except enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong or mentioning Allah92.”
According to the verse 83 of the sura of al-Baqara (2) mentioned above, being kind to the parents, the relatives, the orphans and the needy and saying good and courteous talking with all the people are among the good moral things that a repentant of sins especially the major sins and in order to perfect his repentance and reform his condition, doings and sayings has to follow. He has to follow the orders mentioned in this verse so that he can purify his inward from vices and bad deeds and replace them with good morals, good doings and good sayings to gain success in this life and the afterlife.
Sincere intention is one of the most important matters which the Qur’an and the holy traditions have paid too much attention to.
Thinking, intention, doings and morals will not be of any value and the doer will not deserve any divine reward unless these things are immersed in sincerity.
If any doing, behavior or moral quality is not done for the sake of Allah, it will be useless and with no value and it will not be rewarded by Allah at all.
The persons, who repent of sins, have, after repenting, to reform themselves in doings and sayings and have to know that Allah is present always and every where and he sees their outwards and inwards so they have to be sincere to Allah in all of their worldly and religious affairs. They have to avoid doing good when intending just to be seen by others. They have to deal in offering their worships and obligations with Allah only in order to be resurrected with the believers and pious people in the afterlife. In this concern there are several verses. Here are some of them; “Except those who repent and amend and hold fast to Allah and are sincere in their religion to Allah, these are with the believers, and Allah will grant the believers a mighty reward.” Qur'an, 4:146
“Now, surely, sincere obedience is due to Allah (alone).” Qur'an, 39:3
“therefore serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience.” Qur'an, 39:2
“and we shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds, and we are sincere to Him.” Qur'an, 2:139
Doing just to be seen by others annuls the doing and devoids it of any value whereas sincerity gives the doing a great value and makes it rewardable in the afterlife.
A repentant has to reform his intention and to make his will just towards Allah so that the tree of his repentance fruits and the fruits ripen.
Being sincere is to turn to Allah, to believe in the day of resurrection, to take lessons from the lives and conducts of the loyal saints, to believe that the key of paradise and hell is in the hand of Allah the Almighty and under His will and that the happiness and unhappiness of one have no relation with the others.
The Prophet (S) has said, “If a servant becomes sincere to Allah for forty mornings, springs of wisdom will flow from his Heart to his tongue93.”
Imam as-Sadiq (as) has said, “Everything submits to the believers and everything reveres them. If a believer is sincere to Allah, Allah will make every thing fear him even the vermin, the beasts and the birds in the sky94.”
Imam Ali (as) has said, “The cause of sincerity is certainty95.”
“The essence of sincerity is not to wish what the people have96.”
“Whoever wishes what Allah has will be sincere in his doings97.”
Patience, according to the Qur’anic verses and the traditions, is one of the divine and moral facts. The sacred sharia has ordered of it and considered it as something highly admired by Allah and patient people deserve great reward for it.
Patience protects man and Religion from deviation and it strengthens man’s morale and will and saves him from slipping in the traps of the devils of human beings and jinn.
If one becomes patient in the good and bad events that may deprive man of his Religion and faith, becomes patient at worshipping and obeying Allah, becomes patient before sins and disobedience or in a word that he follows the orders of Allah and the sharia, performs the obligations on time, submits totally to Allah, resists his worldly desires and lusts, prefers the bitterness of obedience and worships to the sweetness of disobedience and sins, he will deserve the blessings and mercy of Allah as the Qur’an declares: “And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient, who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return. Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.” Qur'an, 2:155-157
“And the angels will enter in upon them from every gate. Peace be on you because you were constant, how excellent, is then, the issue of the abode.” Qur'an, 13:23-24
“What is with you passes away and what is with Allah is enduring; and We will most certainly give to those who are patient their reward for the best of what they did.” Qur'an, 16:96
“These shall be granted their reward twice, because they are steadfast.” Qur'an, 28:54
The Prophet (S) has said, “Whoever tries to be patient Allah assists him to be patient, whoever tries to be chaste Allah makes him chaste and whoever becomes satisfied Allah enriches him. No one has been granted something better and greater than patience98.”
Ameerul M o'mineen (as) has said, “The Truth is heavy but Allah may make it light for the people who look forward to the end and so they forbear trust in the Truthful promise of Allah to those who become patient and content with what Allah has promised them. Be among these people and rely on Allah99!”
Imam Ali, the head of the pious, has said, “Forbear the bitterness of the Truth and beware to be deceived by the sweetness of the falseness100!”
It has been narrated that one day a man asked Abu Abdullah as-Sadiq (as) about a certain religious matter and Imam as-Sadiq (as) replied to him with a fatwa unlike what he liked. Imam as-Sadiq (as) noticed that the man had become unpleased. He said to him, “O man, forbear the truth because whoever becomes patient with the Truth Allah will recompense him with what is better to him101.”
Imam al-Baqir (as) has said, “The paradise is surrounded with mis fortunes and patience. Whoever becomes patient with the mis fortunes of the world ly life will be in paradise. The hell is surrounded with pleasures and lusts. Whoever gives his self all what it likes will be in hell102.”
Imam al-Baqir (as) has also said, “Patience is two kinds; patience with misfortunes which is good patience and the better of the two kinds is to refrain from the prohibited things103.”
In fact, patience in all circumstances makes man submit to the irreversible reality and keeps his religion, deeds and morals safe and consequ ently the patient will win the bestend. Is there anything better than patience for man to adorn himself with?
A repentant of sins must be patient to resist his desires to keep on repenting and refraining from sins and disobedience in order to get rid forever of the desires and satanic whispers that take him to the abyss of sins. Man cannot purify himself from the dregs of sins and disobedience except by being patient and then he can draw forth the divine mercy and care forever.
Allah has made it obligatory on Himself to supply all the creatures with required livelihood that no one of the creatures remains in need of livelihood or its name is omitted from the record of livelihoods at all.
But there are ways and canals through which livelihood reaches man. Some of these ways are: inheritance, donation, finding treasures and the most important way is “lawful gaining”.
Lawful gaining is like agriculture, industry, trade, grazing, handicrafts and other activities.
The wealth that one gets from unlawful way makes that one lead a deviate life and then will deserve severe punishment on the day of resurrection.
Stealing, extorting, bribe, giving deficient measures (in the scales), cheating, robbing, spoliation and the likes are all unlawful and prohibited things. Committing these things drives man away from the mercy of Allah and deprives him of His care. We find in the holy Qur’an and the traditions a strong emphasis on lawful gaining. Allah has ordered the Prophets of lawful gaining and then of worshipping.
“O messengers! eat of the good things and do good.” Qur'an, 23:51
It has been narrated that once Umm Abdullah (sister of Shaddad bin Owss) sent a cup of milk to the Prophet (S) at sunset to break his fasting with. The Prophet (S) sent her messenger back to her asking her, “Where have you got this milk from?” She said, “From an ewe of mine.” The Prophet (S) sent the messenger back again asking, “Where have you got this ewe from?” She said, “I have bought it with my own money.” Then the Prophet (S) drank the milk. The next day Umm Abdullah came to the Prophet (S) and said to him, “O messenger of Allah, I sent you some milk but you sent my messenger back with it!” The Prophet (S) said, “Such all the Prophets before me have been ordered not to eat except good (lawful food) and not to do except good104.”
The Qur’an orders all the people in the world to eat lawful and legally gotten food and to get lawful wealth and not to allow the Satan to intervene in their livings affairs because the Satan incites them to commit vices, sins and oppression against the others.
“O people! eat the lawful and good things out of what is in the earth, and do not follow the footsteps of the Shaitan; surely he is your open enemy. He only enjoins you evil and indecency, and that you may speak against Allah what you do not know.” Qur'an, 2:168-169
A believer, when gaining lawful livelihood, must pay attention to the quantity and be satisfied with what Allah has granted him and not to covet what the others have. A believer must pay much attention to this important fact that the Prophet (S) has announced to all the Muslims, “The inviolability of a Muslim’s property is like the inviolability of his blood105.”
It means: as you try the best to save the lives of the believers, you should try the best to save their properties. Aggression against Muslim’s properties and robbing the wealth he has without any right is as shedding his blood wrongfully.
Endeavoring to gain lawful livelihood and being satisfied with it whatever little it is are among the good morale; in fact, they are the essence of moral beauty and perfection.
Among the obligatory matters, that a repentant must promptly care for is purifying his properties. It means that if he has among his properties dues or rights of others or extorted monies, he must pay them back to their owners willingly. He has to keep on getting lawful livelihood until the last moment of his life.
The Prophet (S) has said, “Whoever eats an unlawful bite, his prayers of forty days will not be accepted106.”
“Allah has prohibited the paradise for a body that has been fed on unlawful food107.”
“Avoiding an unlawful bite is more beloved to Allah than praying two thousand rak’at as offered voluntarily108.”
Piety is protecting oneself from slipping into sins and disobedience and involving in perishing plagues as it has been mentioned in the Qur'an and the sharia.
Piety is aspiritual condition one gets when keeping away from sins and keeping on worships. It has a high rank among the religious values and moral aspects of perfection.
The effects of the divine guidance are not open for the all. They do not appear except on pious people. On the day of resurrection paradise will not be prepared and adorned except for the pious.
“This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 2:2
“And the garden shall be brought near for those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 26:90
Piety has many good results and advantages. Here are some of them that have been mentioned in the Qur’anic verses and the traditions; “And fear Allah, that you may be successful.” Qur'an, 2:189
“And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” Qur'an, 2:194
“Then surely Allah loves those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 3:76
“Be careful of (your duty to) Allah then, that you may give thanks.” Qur'an, 3:123
“And be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is swift in reckoning.” Qur'an, 5:4
“Those among them who do good (toothers) and guard (against evil) shall have a great reward.” Qur'an, 3:127
“Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 5:27
“And naught of the reckoning of their (deeds) shall be against those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 6:69
“And be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.” Qur'an, 49:10
“And Allah is the guardian of those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 45:19
“Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty).” Qur'an, 49:13
Ameerul Mo’mineen (as) has mentioned the aspects of the pious as following: Truthfulness, giving depos its back to their owners, carrying out covena nts, generosity, good kinship, being kind to the weak, little sleeping with women, giving charities, doing favors, courtesy, patience, prudence and following the knowledge that nears to Allah. Then he said, “A good final state shall be theirs and a goodly return109”.
The Prophet (S) has said, “If the heavens and the earth are closed up for a man and then he fears Allah, Allah will open a way to him between them and will grant him deliverance110.”
The Prophet (S) has also said, “There is a quality whoever keeps to, this world and the afterworld will obey him and he will win the paradise.” He was asked what it was and he said, “It is piety. Whoever wants to be the most honorable among people has to fear Allah and be pious111.”
Charity and benevolence
The Qur’an emphasizes on believing in Allah, the day of resurrection, the angels, the divine books, the Prophets and spending Abundantly on the orphans, the poor and the wayfarers, helping the needy, setting slaves free, offering prayers, paying zakat, carrying out covenants and being patient with misfortunes, distresses and illnesses. All these are aspects of good, benevolence, Truthfulness and piety112.
The Prophet (S) has said, “The promptest goodness to be rewarded is benevolence and the promptest evil to be punished is aggression113.”
The Prophet (S) has mentioned ten aspects of the benevolent; “They love for the sake of Allah, hate for the sake of Allah, make friends for the sake of Allah, part from some people for the sake of Allah, become angry for the sake of Allah, become pleased for the sake of Allah, act for the sake of Allah, beseech Allah, submit to Him frightenedly, purely, sincerely, coyly and watchfully and give charities for the sake of Allah114.”
Imam Ali (as) has said, “There are three things that are considered as qualities of charity; generosity, courtesy and patience with harms115.”
Imam al-Baqir (as) has said, “Four things are from the treasures of charity; to hide one’s neediness, to keep giving charity secret, to hide one’s pain and to hide distresses116.”
Musa bin Ja’far al-Kadhim (as) has said, “Whoever is charitable and benevolent to his kin and brothers his life will be prolonged117.”
Ghairat and zealotry are among high morals. Ghairat imposes on one to protect his honor and family from the others, from the aggression of dissolute and bad people.
Ghairat in fact is one of the prominent aspects of all the Prophets, the saints and the lovers of the truth.
The Prophet (S) has said, “My father Abraham has ghairat and I have more ghairat than him. May Allah disgrace whoever of the believers that has no ghairat 118.”
Ameerul Mo'mineen (as) has chided the people of Kufa by saying, “Do you not feel shy? Do you not have ghairat? Your women go to the markets competing with the infidels119.”
The Prophet (S) has said, “The fragrance of paradise can be felt at a distance of five hundred years but neither an undutiful nor a cuckold will feel it.” It was asked, “What a cuckold is?” The Prophet (S) said, “It is he, whose wife commits adultery and he is aware of that120.”
Imam as-Sadiq (as) has said, “Allah has ghairat and He loves every person who has it. It is because of His Ghairat that He has prohibited adultery whether openly or secretly121.”
Taking lessons from the events of life and what happens to people and thinking of the lives and conditions of the previous nations are considered as a good feature of wisemen. The Qur'an says when talking about the ancient nations, “In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding.” Qur'an, 12:111
The Qur’an invites men of understanding and wise people besides all ordinary people to take lessons in order to protect themselves from falling into the meanness of sins and vices and in order to reach perfection.
“Therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes.” Qur'an, 59:2
Imam Ali (as) has said, “The best of reason is to take lessons, the best of determinedness is to ask for other’s help and the greatest of foolishness is self-deceit122.”
Ameerul Mo’mineen (as) asked the ignorant, sinful and unjust people to take lesson from the ancient nations and past events by saying, “You have a lesson from the past nations! Where are the giants and the sons of the giants?! Where are the Pharaohs and the sons of the Pharaohs?! Where are the people of ar-Rass who have killed the Prophets, put out the laws of the messengers of Allah and restored the laws of the tyrants123?”
According to the Qur’an and the traditions, “goodness” refers to some positive qualities which are useful to man in this world and the afterworld.
Goodness according to the Qur’an is the reward in the afterlife, the divine mercy, lawful wealth, Friday prayer, the afterlife, faith, acting according to good preaching, repentance, piety and the likes.
The best way of reforming one’s inward and outward is to follow these exalted facts and ideals. The Prophet (S) has said, “There are four qualities which whoever has been given as if been given the goodness of this life and the afterlife; a patient body, a mentioning tongue, a grateful Heart and a good wife124.”
Imam Ali (as) has said, “All goodness has been gathered in three things; looking, keeping silence and speaking. Every looking without taking lessons is in attention, every silence without pondering is inadvertence and every speech without praising Allah is nonsense125.”
The holy Qur’an pays great attention to knowledge, scholars and studiers. We also find this matter clear in the traditions.
Knowledge is the la mp of the way, the power of mind, insight, awareness, honor and dignity.
The high rank of man in this world and the afterworld concerns the knowing believers.
“Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, to high ranks.” Qur'an, 58:11
The Prophet (S) has said, “Seek knowledge even if it is in China! Seeking knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim126.”
He has also said, “A scholar among the ignorant is like a living one among the dead127.”
The Prophet (S) has also said in a tradition urging on seeking knowledge, “When death comes to a scholar while seeking knowledge, he dies as a martyr128.”
The Prophet (S) has said in another tradition, “He, who seeks knowledge, is like one who fasts in the day and spends the night in worshipping. A chapter of knowledge one learns is better to him than a mountain of gold even if he spends it in the way of Allah129.”
He has also said, “Whoever is busy looking for knowledge paradise looks for him.”
Is there any way to reform a repentant’s state better than seeking knowledge to know the lawful and unlawful things, to know the right and the wrong and to learn the divine knowledge in order to act according to it?
If one is unaware of the facts and what is going around him then how can he adapt himself to live in such environment? Is it possible to apply this verse “that if any one of you does evil in ignorance, then turns after that and acts aright” (Qur'an,6:54)
without knowing the religious facts and moral ideals?
Real repentance does not take place without reforming one’s inward and outwa rd and this reform does not take place without knowledge.
Hope and expectation
Hope is a human quality and an exalted state of the Heart that the believers and especially the repentant of sins must have to win the pardon and forgiveness of Allah.
The persons, who believe in Allah and are certain of the existence of the afterlife, must perform the obligations as possible as they can and must refrain from prohibited things without being polluted with the disease of pride, haughtiness and selfishness. Man must expect the mercy of Allah on the day of resurrection to be saved from the horrible terrors of that day and to be granted the divine cont entment and paradise.
These persons should not des pair of the mercy of Allah and should not exceed in their fear to a degree that they lose hope and then they keep on their deviation and committing sins.
A believer should make his faith in the divine facts as a basis from which he should set towards hoping and expecting the mercy and contentment of Allah. He should know that faith and good deeds are the pillars of deliverance.
The Qur'an, in many verses, talks to man in away that moves the sense of goodness inside the believers and brings those, who have done good deeds, good news that they will be in paradise to live there forever and to have eternal blessings. The believers should know that Allah carries out His promises and does never break any promise.
“Surely those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape the persecution) and strive in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” Qur'an, 2:218
“And convey good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that they shall have gardens in which rivers flow.” Qur'an, 2:25
There are many other verses having this concept and showing that the mercy of Allah is very near to the believers and the benevolent. Man has no any excuse to despair of the great mercy of Allah or to think that it is unobtainable or to suspect the certain good news of Allah.
As for those, who have spent their lives in sins and disobedience and have not performed their obligations, they should know too that the mercy of Allah is not closed before them and that Allah is Mighty and Forgiver and He accepts the repentances of His people. They should know that the power of Allah is infinite and so are His pardon and forgiveness that he may forgive His sinful people even if their sins are as much as the sands of the deserts, the waters of the seas and as much as the mountains. It is not difficult for Allah to forgive them all.
“Say: O my servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful.” Qur'an,39:53
A repentant one should hope and expect the mercy and forgiveness of Allah because despairing of the mercy and forgiveness is equal to disbelief according to the Qur’anic verses130.
A repentant should know that he is like a sick person and his doctor is Allah the Almighty and that there is no unrecoverable disease near Allah. a repentant has to diagnose his disease and then to try to cure the disease with the drug of repentance.
Despairing of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness is a satanic doing meaning that Allah is unable to cure the disease of that sick person, Allah forbid!
Anyhow, one must expect the mercy of Allah because it leads to faith and good deeds whose fruit is repenting and turning to Allah. The hope without faith or doing or without repenting and turning to Allah is a satanic state and according to the Qur'an it is a satanic wish.
“He (the Satan) gives them promises and excites vain desires in them; and the Shaitan does not promise them but to deceive.” Qur'an, 4:120
Once a man came to Ameerul Mo’mineen (as) and said to him, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen, advise me!”
Imam Ali (as) said to him, “Do not be among those who expect good afterlife without doing (good deeds) and postpone repentance hoping that they will live long. They speak in this life as the ascetics but do as the desirous (of worldly life)131.”
Imam Ali (as) has also said, “Be of what you do not wish more hopeful than of what you wish. Moses the son of Imran went to bring fire for his family and then Allah talked to him and he went back as Prophet. The queen of Saba’ went (as an unbeliever) and she became a Muslim at the hand of Prophet Solomon (as). The magicians of the Pharaoh went to achieve glory to the Pharaoh but they went back as believers132.”
Imam as-Sadiq (as) has said, “A believer is not a true believer unless he becomes afraid (of Allah) and hopeful (of the mercy of Allah) and he is not afraid and hopeful unless he acts according to what he if afraid and hopeful of133.”
Justice is one of the most important matters in the Qur’an and the traditions. Justice is one of the attributes of Allah the Almighty, the Prophets and the saints.
A just person is surely beloved by Allah and by good people and he is as a shining lamp in the sphere of life.
Justice is the source, the root and the essence of all the system of the world of existence. It has been narrated that, “With justice the heavens and the earth have been established.”
The holy Qur'an, in too many verses, has talked about justice and invited all the people to carry out justice in all the affairs of their lives.
“Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred” Qur'an, 16:90
“Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to their owners and that when you judge between people you judge with justice” Qur'an, 4:58
“O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let nothatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety” Qur'an, 5:8
The Prophet (S) has said, “Justice of one hour is better than worships of seventy years; spending the night (in worshipping) and fasting during the day and injustice of one hour is worse near Allah than sins of sixty years134.”
Ameerul Mo’mineen (as) has said, “He, whose inward is like his outwards and whose doings are like his sayings, has protected deposits and carried out justice135.”
He has also said, “Justice is the base on which the world has been established136.”
He has also said, “Justice is the head of faith, the peak of charity and the highest rank of faith137.”
Out of the previous Qur’anic verses and holy traditions we find that the divine facts are; faith, prayers, spending, believing in the afterlife, being kind to the parents and to the kin, being cha ritable to the orphans and the needy, court esy, sincerity, patience, lawful properties, piety, charity, taking lessons, goodness, seeking knowledge, expectation and justice.
Some of these things are practical programs and some others are moral, some are inwards and some others are outwards.
It has been mentioned previously that the moral beauty and the factors that lead to reform man’s personality and psychological state after repenting of sins are several things such as; good intention, favor, freedom, wisdom, good will, love, fairness, guardianship, reconciliation, carrying out covenants, pardoning, relying on Allah, humbleness, truthfulness, loving the humankind, doing good to people, mixing with people in good manners, great jihad (against one’s desires and lusts), enjoining the good, forbidding the wrong, piety, gratefulness, responsibility, generosity and the likes. All these things make one reform his inward and add to himself moral beauty.
If we want to explain all these things depending on the Qur’anic verses and the traditions, we will need several volumes to achieve the task; therefore we turn away from explaining these things and the readers may read them in the detailed books like the tafsirs (interpretations) of the Qur'an, Usool al-Kafi, Jami’as-Sa’adat, Mi’raj as-Sa’ada, al-Mahajja al-Baydha” , al-Irfan al-Islami (twelve volumes written by the author of this book), Ma’ani al-Akhbar, Khisa al as-Sadooq, al-Mawa’idh al-Adadiyya and others.
73. As-Safi, vol.3 p.185 when interpreting the verse 24 of the sura of Aal Imran.
74. As-Safi, vol.1 p.150.
76. Biharul Anwar, vol. 74 p.121.
77. Ibid., p.94.
78. Ibid., p.10.
79. Biharul Anwar, vol. 74 p.105.
80. At-Targheeb, vol.3 p.347.
81. Tafsir al-Mo’een, 12.
82. At-Targheeb, vol.3 p.349.
83. Biharul Anwar, vol. 75 p.4.
84. Al-Mawa’idh al-Adadiyya, p.147.
85. Tafsir As-Safi, vol.1 p.108.
86. Al-Kafi, vol.4 p.598.
87. Al-Mahajja al-Baydha”, vol.5 p.193
88. Ghurarul Hikam, chap. of “l am letter”.
89. Usool Al-Kafi, vol.2 p.115.
90. Tafsir As-Safi, vol.1 p.151-152.
92. Al-Mawa’idh al-Adadiyya p.87.
93. Tafsir al-Mo’een, 21.
94. Biharul Anwar, vol. 70 p.248.
95. Ghurarul Hikam, chap. of “ kha” letter “.
98. Kanzol Ummal, tradition no.6522.
99. Biharul Anwar, vol. 77 p.258.
100. Tafsir al-Mo’een, 23.
101. Biharul Anwar, vol. 70 p.107.
102. Usool Al-Kafi, vol.4 p.274.
103. Ibid., vol.2 p.91.
104. Ad-Durr al-Manthoor, vol.5 p.10.
105. Tafsir al-Mo’een, 25.
106. Kanzol Ummal, vol.6, 926.
107. Tafsir al-Mo’een, 26.
109. Biharul Anwar, vol. 70 p.282.
110. Biharul Anwar, vol. 70, p.285.
112. Refer to Qur’an, 2:177.
113. Biharul Anwar, vol. 75 p.273.
114. Tuhaf al-Uqool, 22.
115. Biharul Anwar, vol. 71 p.89.
116. Ibid., vol. 81 p.208.
117. Mustadrak Al-Wassa’il, vol.2 p.410.
118. Biharul Anwar, vol. 103 p.248.
119. Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol. 18 p.312.
120. Men la Yahdharuhu al-Faqeeh, vol.3 p.281.
121. Wassa’il ash-Shia, vol. 14 p.107.
122. Tafsir al-Mo’een, p.545.
123. Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol. 10 p.92.
124. Mustadrak Al-Wassa’il, vol.1 p.138.
125. Biharul Anwar, vol. 1 p.180.
126. Biharul Anwar, vol. 1 p.180.
127. Ibid., p.184.
128. At-Targheeb wet-Terheeb, vol.1 p.97.
129. Biharul Anwar, vol. 1 p.184.
130. Refer to Qur’an, 12:87.
131. Biharul Anwar, vol. 72 p.199.
132. Biharul Anwar, vol. 71 p.134.
133. Ibid., vol. 70 p.365.
134. Biharul Anwar, vol. 75 p.352.
135. Ghurarul Hikam.
136. Biharul Anwar, vol. 78 p.83.
137. Tafsir al-Mo’een, p.541.